The Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing on Thursday leaned heavily on the deposition of former Attorney General William Barr, as the bipartisan panel publicly laid out its case about the events leading up to the 2021 assault on the Capitol.
The very first piece of evidence shown during the hearing was a clip of Barr, who called former President Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election “bullshit.”
“I made it clear I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president was bullshit,” Barr said in the clip. “And I didn’t want to be a part of it, and that’s one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when I did.”
Thursday night’s prime-time hearing is the first of a series set to paint a picture of a carefully planned and orchestrated attack on democracy. In his opening statement, committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) didn’t mince his words about former Trump, who he said spurred “a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution.” He bolstered this statement with the clip from Barr.
“You can’t live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that there was fraud in the election,” Barr said.
The panel also showed a clip of testimony from Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter and White House adviser, in which she was asked about Barr’s dismissal of Trump’s election fraud claims. She said she had accepted that her father had lost the election.
“It affected my perspective,” she said. “I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he was saying.”
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